I love Chinese food. Not the Chinese mega-buffets (we have two in our little town in South Carolina) but the Chinese food that I create in my own kitchen. Start with the basic cooking methods and flavors and just have a ball. I'm sure I've served up creations that a purist probably wouldn't recognize, but cooking IS an art, after all, and every cook should feel free to take artistic license with her creations. In fact, I insist on it!
Mochachocolata-Rita is hosting a Chinese Take-Out Party & Lucky Draw on her blog; be sure to pull out your favorite Chinese-inspired recipe and join the party! Here's mine; I have no idea where I found the original as it's been in my recipe files for a long time without credits, and I've made some changes in the meantime. Don't be afraid to try it, even if you think you don't like tofu. Even my tofu-less hubby loves this.
Tofu and Broccoli in Garlic Sauce
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup Sauvignon Blanc wine
1 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground dried ginger
6 to 8 cloves garlic, crushed with a cleaver
2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Beat all the sauce ingredients together in a small saucepan until peanut butter is emulsified. If necessary, heat very gently.
1 large head broccoli, cut into florets
2 yellow onions, sliced thin
16 ounces extra-firm tofu, cut into 1 1/2-inch square blocks
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup vegetable oil
Marinate tofu in the 1/4 cup soy sauce for about 15 minutes. Put all but 2 tablespoons of the oil into a large fry pan and heat until very hot. Fry the tofu cubes in the hot oil just until browned on each side. Remove them to a plate and pour off any excess oil. Put remaining 2 tablespoons oil in the pan. Reduce heat to medium. Stir fry the onion slices until they are soft and transparent and a tiny bit caramelized, about 5 minutes.
In a large stew pot, steam the broccoli pieces, covered, in 3/4 cup water for about 2 minutes or until crisp-tender. Do not cook the broccoli for more than 5 minutes total. It should be slightly crunchy. Add the sautéed onions and sauce mix; blend together and heat through for about 1 more minute.
Taste the sauce - it should be very slightly sweet and "hot" from the red pepper, and extremely garlicky. Add another 1/4 teaspoon of sugar and/or a bit more red pepper flakes if necessary.
Just before serving, gently stir in the tofu cubes with a large spatula, being careful not to break them up. I serve this over brown rice.